March Volunteer of the Month – Verlynn Mariano

February 26, 2018


QMUNITY would like to recognize Verlynn for her dedication, passion, and hard work within our organization. Thanks, Verlynn!

1. How did you get involved with Q?

I was looking for a place to volunteer when I moved back to Vancouver from Toronto and QMUNITY was the first place I thought of. I wanted to be part of an organization that was making a direct positive impact in the LGBTQ2S community. In 2011 I was living in the West End and frequently passed by the office. I had met with the volunteer coordinator at that time to help facilitate a group; however, things didn’t work out.  So as the time passed I kept thinking of ways to get into Q; things just didn’t align until this past November – and I’m so glad that they did!

2. What’s your favourite part of volunteering at Q?

I really enjoy the people I get to interact with and the conversations I get to have. I feel safe and appreciated. It’s great knowing that you’re part of helping make others feel that way too.

3. What’s a Q interaction that stands out to you?

I love how everyone is so concerned about the well-being of other people there. I worked a lot in the training room which can be a bit cold, but every time I was in there, someone checked in to see if it was warm enough. It’s a constant reminder that people there are looking out for you and work as a community.

4. What does your happy place look like?

It’s a stimulating conversation with someone, a walk with my headphones on, listening to music that makes me feel good, or a nice cuddle with my lil pup, Solly!

5. What is your favourite food & why?

I love, love, love food. I couldn’t choose a favourite!

6. What is your favourite city & why?

For now (because I happen to be here right now as I type this), I would say Toronto! (I don’t like to pick favourites.) I came to Toronto during a really difficult transition in my life and the city got me on my feet and helped me find parts of myself I forgot about. I met a ton of cool and progressive, like-minded people. The style and individuality you see on the street is so inspiring. There are so many unique things about the city and the vibe is something you can’t really explain.

7. What’s your favourite way to spend your time in Vancouver?

I love walking along the seawall: stopping to take in the view, maybe read a little bit. That water and those mountains are really something special.

Message from Alannah, Volunteer Coordinator:

What Verlynn doesn’t mention is that we tasked her with the very unglamorous job of shredding endless counselling files that had been gathering dust in our offices. This was essential to cleaning up shared storage areas within a building where space is at a premium – and making counsellors’ days easier and more efficient. Verlynn completed these tasks reliably and without complaint, and we are so grateful for her willingness to brave the Arctic temperatures here at Q. Thank you so much, Verlynn!

Interview by Alannah James, Volunteer Coordinator

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